Rosebrock Garden Cuttings


Cast your mind back to September of last year and a post that I wrote about a bag of leftovers from a quilt that my Mom and I had made together……

I had started working on the alternating blocks while we were visiting in Oxford, England for 2 months.  But, when I returned and started to put the blocks together I realized that I didn’t like how they looked.   SO, I put the original blocks aside and started over again with a different design.  Then, when I got to the border, I designed and pieced one side of the quilt, but the I didn’t like it when I started to apply it to the quilt.  Once again, it was pitched aside and I started over again.

SO, as I was doing some cleaning out, I came across a bag containing the following bits and pieces……  all leftovers from the original quilt…..

_9132506 (2)After going thru all of this  and determining how many different blocks and patches I had in each type I moved to Electric Quilt and started to design a block that would use as many of these pieces as possible.  This is what I came up with….

pic 1


I then took photos of the two blocks and played with them in Photoshop until I came up with this…..


After piecing the center, I auditioned a ton of fabrics to pick the borders.  After deciding on a small pink border, I started looking at all of the small strips that I had left over and turned it into a piano key border.

The final border was a toughie……I kept putting fabrics on the design wall and taking photos of them, but couldn’t find anything that I was happy with.    Then I came across  one of the Caryl Bryer Fallert gradation fabrics and was really excited to see how it looked.  I spent a LONG time trying to figure out how to turn the corners so that the colors blended, but finally decided to just start attaching it and to adjust as I went.

ANYWAY, here is the finished top……


I am now working on the backing, and hope to  use the last few bits of the leftovers.

Oh, and about the quilt name…… when we spent our two months in Oxford, we lived in a house just across from Merton College that was built in the 1500’s and remodeled in the 1700’s.   There was a gorgeous courtyard, complete with a pond, 2 pooping Mallards and beds and pots of wonderful plants.  The garden was named “Rosebrock Garden” and the quilt is made of the leftovers (cuttings) from “Mother Daughter Flower Garden”……thus  “Rosebrock Garden Cuttings”

……more to come…….

Where do you do your thinking??

Over the years I have realized that I often do my best thinking and planning when I am in the shower and sometimes it gets me into trouble….as it did yesterday.

You see, I am working on a pictorial quilt and have been experimenting with using RIT dyes on some of the fabrics…..more about this in another post.  Yesterday morning, just as I was heading to the shower, I realized that I wasn’t happy with the coloring of the bottom part of the quilt.  As I thought about it (while showering), I decided to take the bottom bit off and try over-dyeing it to see if I could fix the color.  I knew that I was going to change it anyway, so I figured I would try this first.

Naturally, I couldn’t wait until I was dressed and ready to sew, so I wrapped the towel around my mid section, closed the blinds and headed into my studio.  The first thought was that I would simply see how hard it was going to be to unpick the section.  Well, that was easy enough.  So, why not go ahead and do the dyeing……still wrapped in the towel and with my hair drying plastered to my head.

After dyeing, rinsing, hand-washing and rinsing again I took the piece to the ironing board and proceeded to dry it with the iron.  Not dark enough….so back to the dye bath….this time for a longer time period.  I went through the same procedure and discovered that this time it had just turned to a muddy grey and would not be usable…..Oh well, it was worth a try.

Back to the bathroom to put  my make-up on.   While standing there, thinking about whether or not I had an appropriate fabric  to use, I had the brilliant idea to use one of the fabrics from the top of the quilt, but to OVER-DYE it to make it a bit darker. (Do you see a theme here?)  Since I didn’t know how long the dye bath would be usable I ran to the kitchen to dye this piece…..ha….success.

Back to the bathroom to re-wet my now dry hair and try to style it into something not resembling a bad wig.  As I am getting dressed, I suddenly remember that the base fabric that I had originally used had been over-dyed as well and that I would need to do the same for this new section.  Off again, this time half dressed, to over dye this final piece.

At the end of my one hour delay, I was clean, coiffed and ready to sew.  AND, I had two new colors of fabric to work with.  It was worth it, but I am just glad that no one else was home!!!

Another Texas Day (or two)

Yesterday, I spent the morning going thru various items that my mother was thinking of getting rid of and she wanted to see if I wanted any of them. I scored some jewelry, some embellishments and a few books. She has enough quilting magazines to start her own library, but I don’t have any place to put them at the moment, so I decided to leave them for now.

In the evening, two of my cousins brought tons of food and drink over to the house and 2 other cousins (and parts of their families) joined us. It was so much fun to sit at the table with four of my favorite cousins and laugh and tell stories, and….well, you know the drill. It was a wonderful night.

This morning, I went to church with my M-I-L and S-I-L (who surprised me by driving in from Dallas). Afterwards, we had the requisite Mexican Food at my favorite restaurant.

As I had flown in on Thursday, I had noticed a “Wind Farm” that had about 75 wind turbines and Esther (my wonderful M-I-L) drove me out so that I could take some photos.

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but I would love to make a quilt with a darkish background and machine embroider the windmills. They are so graceful and tranquil and it would be fun to try to capture that in a quilt. I am hoping that I am on the correct side of the aircraft when we fly out on Tuesday….if so, I will try to get an aerial photo of the field….it was magnificent.

Also on the flight last week, I spent some time playing with the rust piece and gathering ideas for how to quilt it. I am posting some photos of my rough drawings here….you will probably have to click on the photo to be able to see any of my drawings. I am sorry that most of these are on their side…..I have NO idea why it is happening, and someone here at the Starbucks is playing an online game and eating up the Bandwidth so it is taking FOREVER to download each photo!!

The first idea was to make different types of flowers. In this one, I was playing with the idea of doing the background quilting to look sort of like venetian blinds.

The second idea kept the different flower types, but used background quilting that had curves that sort of followed the lines on the rust dye……

On the third one, I only used Sunflower types of flowers, which I have decided that I like better. In this one, I kept looking at the nails in the center portion of the dye and seeing fence posts, so I thought about doing the background sort of like a fence….

In the final one, I did the sunflowers larger and I really like this idea best. However, I have now decided that I will need to go ahead and quilt the flowers before I can decide on a background quilting design, so that will be one of my first projects when I get back home. Before I start, I will spend some time looking at pictures and drawings of sunflowers to see if I can make them a bit more realistic. I have decided that I want the one on the right to have a perspective where it is looking upwards. Since I am NOT an artist, this may be a stretch, but hopefully I can find something online that will help me. I am also going to look at the shape of Sunflower leaves and quilt those in along the stems as well. I will probably do some grass-type design towards the bottom.

I am planning to quilt the design elements in a thread that matches the rust and then do the backgrounds with a beige thread.

If you have any wonderful ideas, I would love to hear them!!!!!